Our final day of camp was pretty tasty indeed. Well, if by tasty you include the fact that it was ridiculously hot once again, compelling me to stay in AC controlled environments. Those teens are tough, too. Most of them seemed to not realize it was anything beyond a comfortable 77 degrees outside.
Our final morning time together we spend talking about not eating from the fruit called “Despair”. We were reminded that we are people of HOPE, and that Jesus desires to take EVERY bit and piece of our life….the pieces that we love to share with Him…and the odds and ends that seem to be filled with pain. Jesus desires to use each of these as HOPE-FILLED building blocks for the Kingdom that is coming.
When I was in high school, I went on a mission trip with my youth group to New Jersey. I don’t remember a ton of what was taught by our youth pastor. I do remember serving in some of the poorest areas of Atlantic City. I also remember the phrase “CHOOSE TO SERVE” because at some point on our trip together, we were given little hand towels (associated with a foot-washing ceremony) with those words printed on it.
With that in mind, I wanted to be able to offer the teens a concrete physical reminder to take home with them of what we’d been talking about. My wife and oldest daughter came to my rescue, by writing the word “HOPE” on 100 giant legos.
What came from that, beyond some really cool photo opportunities of legos spread across a long wooden altar; was a time of prayer with leaders and students. Prayers that Jesus would take specific situations and our lives altogether and bring HIS Purpose and HOPE to use these things as building blocks in His Kingdom that is, and is to come.
Altogether an incredible week…on location. My larger prayer is that as these living building blocks of God’s Kingdom return to their respective environments…humanity and creation feel ripples of the Spirit’s transforming work in their lives….may God be with each of them…